Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back in the U.S. of A

So it's been about 9 days. Where am I? How do I feel about the vast changes that have occured so very quickly? Or am I just too busy, and at the end of the day too tired, to reflect much about it? Yes and no. It has definitely been a whirlwind. I already wrote about our entry back into Ashland on the 4th of July and moving back into our house the next day. At times I look around our valley, and while loving the views of the surrounding mountains already drying out in the heat of the summer, realize this is certainly not the Mediterranean region of southern France. I drive around in my little Prius surrounded by BIG trucks and SUV's and vanity license plates, reminders of what I have not experienced in a year. I notice new businesses and buildings or old familiar haunts gone out of business in this sputtering economy. We are trying to find our culinary way as we replace French favorites that can't be replicated here. It was a joy to get our first farm box from the farm co-op! The most important of all is seeing friends and acquaintances...and making sure that I stop what I am doing to take the time to really connect with whomever crosses my path. This is something that we take from France that is very important for both Lisa and I - to be here now and treasure each human interaction, to revitalize our role as part of this community with newfound influences from the world, just as when we were in France we never forgot we were representing America and Americans.

Besides the insights and reflections it has been a week mixed with the unpacking of box after box after box and slowly organizing the house (which still has a long way to go), shopping to restock our completely empty kitchen, dealing with the issues surrounding the old tenants and the property management company, major yard work,
getting our car and scooter back and insured,
getting our new phones up and running and in turn making contact with old friends, helping Lisa get her office ready for today - her first day of work in 13 months, and planning for a weekend at our cabin.

I had visited the cabin for about 2 hours on June 10, 2008 with Will who was going to caretake the place and modernize the electrical system, but Lisa and Irie hadn't been up to "Bon Pin" since Oct. of 2007. We were all excited, and it was great to walk out onto our landing and see Mt. Thielsen standing guard across a calm lake, still holding onto a bit of snow. The cabin, like everything else in our repatriated lives, needs lots of work! That's OK, it is with enthusiasm that I see the changes that will occur and make the cabin an even greater place of repose.
We fell back into old habits quickly: coffee on the landing in the warm morning sun, interior cleaning and yard work (there is always wood to be cut and chopped) in spurts throughout the day intermingled with lounging in the sun, paddling around in the tahiti and swimming in a surprisingly not frigid lake. I put up the dock so that maybe soon I can get the boat in the water and go trout fishing. In the evening after grilling, we had a small fire outside in the fire pit and later played games before diving into our cozy beds for the night. Dirty and exhausted, but delighted to be back.

Today begins a new week of more of the same. Lisa is officially back at work and she seems refreshed and excited about it! I am bidding on a paint job, have a new shopping list a mile long after our cabin visit, and a laundry list of other items that need attending to. Our walls are still empty, except for the metalwork we bought in France which is the Frejus city symbol. I wrote about it here last fall. We also want to squeeze in some fun. Tomorrow, I plan on celebrating Bastille Day by going to a concert my friend Alice DiMicele is playing. Weds., we are excited about seeing the new Harry Potter film, and Thurs. we are going to dinner at Jason and Kim's who we are excited to see again! Then it will be off to Bon Pin again.

Have a great week everyone, and Happy Bastille Day to our French friends!!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Rick, Lisa, and Irie. Glad to have you guys back in the states. We missed you! Give us a call or email for contact information now that your back. Anthony

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